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Name: In re J.C.
Case #: A154389
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 03/28/2019
Summary

Trial court’s commitment of delinquent juvenile to county Youthful Offender Treatment Program (YOTP) without ordering a fixed term of commitment did not improperly delegate authority to the probation officer to determine the minor’s term of commitment. J.C. admitted the allegations in a Welfare and Institutions Code section 602 petition that he committed a carjacking and used a gun. He was declared a ward of the juvenile court, committed to YOTP for all its phases, and ordered to successfully complete the program. The juvenile court did not order a fixed term of commitment, instead ordering the maximum custody time allowed, not to exceed the minor’s 21st birthday. The minor objected that this indefinite commitment improperly delegated authority to the probation officer to determine the length of the minor’s commitment. He appealed. Held: Affirmed. When a minor is committed to a county facility and ordered to complete a treatment program, juvenile courts can and do delegate the day-to-day supervision of the minor, while retaining the ultimate authority to determine whether the minor has successfully completed the program. Despite the fact that an administrative entity will exercise day-to-day supervision and control over the minor in YOTP, the juvenile court retains authority to determine whether the minor successfully completes the program. The juvenile court exercised its retained authority in scheduling a review hearing seven months after disposition. At this hearing, the minor may inform the juvenile court if he disagrees with probation’s assessment of his progress to date. He may also file a Welfare and Institutions Code section 778 petition to modify the court’s disposition order. The commitment order does not improperly delegate to probation the discretion to fix the length of the minor’s commitment.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/archive/A154389.PDF